GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4)– The president of the Cherry Creek Schools Board of Education has resigned after using a racial slur when describing a teacher at a teacher awards banquet. People present at the banquet say at first, David L. Willman laughed off the criticism.

On Friday, he resigned in the wake of the controversy. Willman worked for the district for eight years.

David Willman (credit: Cherry Creek Schools)

In a letter to the CCSD community, Cherry Creek Schools Superintendent Scott Siegfried said, “We are committed to creating a district-wide culture that is safe, supportive and inclusive. I look forward to working with the board and district staff in our continuing efforts to provide the kind of education that values all students.”

A letter from Willman was posted on the Cherry Creek Schools website after the banquet:

Dear Cherry Creek Schools Staff,

Last evening, as part of my remarks while on stage at the Teacher Awards Banquet, I used a racist term that is deeply offensive, and I am truly sorry. When first confronted about my use of the word, my initial reaction was defensive and I tried to explain my reason for the word choice. I have since had time to reflect on my actions and to have conversations with people in my life, and I now understand that my words were hurtful and damaging. I own my mistake and I apologize for it.

I am addressing my apology to all of you because as board president, I represent the entire Cherry Creek School District community. I apologize to those in the room who heard me speak, but I also apologize to all of you, because my use of racist language at a school event does not reflect Cherry Creek values. I have high expectations for myself and for this organization, and I failed to meet those expectations.

I commit to you that I will do what it takes to repair the damage I have caused and to work toward an inclusive culture that values and respects all.

Again, I send my deepest apologies to the entire CCSD community.

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